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hospitals, and president obama has opinion notified. the administration is monitoring this situation via fema which is in contact with state and local officials in texas. here's waco police sergeant patrick swanson just a short time ago. >> there is a significant area around the fertilizer plant that has been destroyed. homes have been destroyed and there are homes flattened and part of that community is gone. >> nbc's charles hadlock is live in the small town of west, texas. charles, what are people saying so far? what's the latest? >> reporter: they say it's a very tedious process, but they are still holding out hope that they will find survivors in the rubble that is left in the northern part of west, texas. the plant itself is on the northeast corner of town, and it exploded last night after fire broke out about 7:30. about 7:45 the fire chief realized the fire was getting out of control. he order his men out, and seven minutes later the whole building exploded. jill jenkins was a triage nurse. she was one of the first ones to arrive on the scene. here's what she had to say. >> when
united states, president obama, he's about to arrive here in boston, as we get ready for a memorial service, honoring the victims. those who died, as well as those who suffered in this horrible boston marathon bombing. that will begin shortly. we're following also the investigation behind this terror. >> how are you, wolf? good to be with you today. we'll start with what's going on in west, texas. west is the name of the town, about 20 miles from waco. a very desperate situation since about 7:30 local p.m. a fire broke out at a fertilizer factory there. about 15 minutes later, a massive explosion. so powerful, it registered as an earthquake. 2.1 magnitude earthquake. explosion of noxious compound used in making federal lieser this is a small town, only about 3,000 people. 50 to 60 homes have been destroyed. half the town, 1,300 people, forced to be evacuated. injuries were quick, some severe, over 160 people treated so far. the most difficult part of the situation, it's so dire, it's the unknown. the chemical compound, anhydrous ammonia, used in making fertilizer. can be lethal. the
about the bill. >> reporter: furious, president obama said the bill did not harm gun rights. >> this legislation met that test. and too many senators failed theirs. >> reporter: more anger erupted when a woman shouted at senators, shame on you. most republicans and four democrats from states with high gun ownership voted against expanding background checks. >> criminals do not submit to background checks now. they will not submit to expanded background checks. >> the way to stop violent crime is to stop violent criminals. >> reporter: the politics was about more than gun rights. later today, a bipartisan group of senators will roll out immigration reform. democrat senator joe manchin who fought hard to get enough votes on background checks found that with two politically hard votes, some senators chose immigration over guns. >> if you're looking at it and trying to evaluate it, they're saying maybe immigration and maybe guns on top of that might be too much for me to go home and explain. >> reporter: and many of those senators who voted no, toe me they had hearty most from t
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